Existing-home prices have continued to show gains in June, although sales fell due to tight supply of affordable homes, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Total existing-home sales, completed transactions of single-family homes, townhouse, condominiums and co-ops, declined 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in June from a revised 4.62 million in May. Despite that decline, sales are still 4.5 percent higher than the 4.18 million units marked in June 2011.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun pointed at low inventory as a big issue.
"Inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities," Yun said. "This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets."
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $189,400 in June, up 7.9 percent from a year ago. June's gain was the strongest since February 2006 when the median price rose 8.7 percent from the year prior.
Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts — accounted for 25 percent of June sales, unchanged from May but down from 30 percent in June 2011.
Total housing inventory at the end June fell another 3.2 percent to 2.39 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6 month supply at the current sales pace, an increase from a 6.4 month supply in May.
First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of purchasers in June, compared with 34 percent in May and 31 percent in June 2011.
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